The Broken Man Is Repaired
I arrived in Bangkok in November following a dreadful year involving a minor operation and a major divorce, which had left me drained physically, mentally and emotionally. I have a few friends who live in Thailand and they had been trying to persuade me to take a holiday there for some time. I realised I was in desperate need of a break, having no ties and everything at work currently OK, I took the opportunity and came on my own for my first visit to Thailand.
I can safely say it was the best holiday I have had for 20 years and the therapy was better than anything the NHS or BUPA can offer.
I stayed the first few nights in the Nana district, which was initially an intimidating experience to someone on his first visit. But armed with some excellent information supplied by my friends and having the motivation of not having enjoyed the “comfort of a woman” for over twelve months, I looked forward to availing myself of its many pleasures.
On my first night, after having dinner with some of my friends, I returned to the Nana district quite late. I find myself on the Nana hotel car park. Whilst negotiating with a young lady, I see a guy walk past wearing the “away” shirt of my local (West Midlands) football team. I would think the probability of seeing this must be quite low. It transpired he was secretary of the Thailand branch of the supporters club and he informed me of a meeting in Pattaya on the following Saturday. The guy was a really nice bloke but travelling any distance to watch a football match was the farthest thing from my mind at that moment. As an aside, in the match day programmes the Thailand branch is listed in between the Sutton Coldfield and Walsall branches but it is obviously not on the same bus route.
However, whilst talking to this guy, the young lady I was negotiating with had disappeared. It was getting late, I am a man with a mission and as time was running out I head for the place of last resort – the disco at the Nana hotel. Once in there I panic because the place is packed full of men! Fortunately the little girl I am with earlier comes up to me with “hello hansum man”,
I quickly negotiate a price for short time and rush her up to my room.
This girl is a cheerful little monkey, 23, slim, petite with unusually long nipples and an interesting tattoo on her pudenda. After my first experience of the shower and towel ritual she proceeded to take receipt of twelve months pent up frustration from me. After the 30 seconds this takes, she decides she is hungry, so I give her about £2 to fetch something. She returns with a pile of food, which she consumes with great pleasure. Once she has finished she asks – again? We do and she stays the night with me. Important lesson learnt -Thai girls love food, if you feed them they may stay all night even if you only pay for short time.
A slightly different experience the next evening, again it was late I had again been to dinner with friends and I end up in a go- go bar in the Nana plaza. One of the dancers picked me up, (obviously a quiet night) she was 25, beautiful face, light skinned, with a gorgeous slim figure. She was considerably more expensive and a bit of a moody cow, she only stayed with me a couple of hours but she had a most amazing anatomy and for me it was like being 16 again.
I imagine no submission from a first timer to Bangkok is complete without a reference to, or observation on the Lady boys. During the first few days one of my pals took me into a Katoey bar. My friend is a highly educated sophisticate with 20 years experience of the Far East and I was glad he was with me to guide me through this experience.
To digress slightly, earlier that evening he had taken me to a bar completely different from any I had seen before. There was no nudity, the girls were ostensibly all aged between 18 and 20 years. These delightful little angels were absolute perfection, dancing in little pink bikinis on a stage with three levels. Although in truth a little too young for my taste, I observed you would never see anything so enchanting and you would never see these girls better than they were then. I knew at that moment were I would be bringing take my two sons for their 21st birthday presents in a few years time.
Anyway we entered the Katoey bar and were fondled all the way to our seats in front of the stage. I was immediately struck by how incredible these exotic creatures are – more woman than a woman but not a woman. It is difficult to explain this to my friends and colleagues at home. The image of transvestites in the west is still “Big George from Maintenance” who wears his wife’s frock at weekends. They can have no conception of this phenomenon. I am sure many others share the difficulties trying to articulate the whole sex tourist/rent a girl friend experience to friends who have not sampled it first hand. To explain the lady boys is impossible.
Once seated, my pal calls a couple over to us, they sit with us and we buy them a drink. My new companion is probably the sexiest looking female I have seen and in eliciting a conversation I enquired about the operations they undertake. My companion explained she had her adam’s apple done and had a breast job. She proceeded to reveal the most perfect pair of breasts – round, firm with that delightful shape with long tubular nipples you only see in your wildest masturbatory fantasies. I enquired if her nipples were sensitive and (always well-mannered) politely asked if I could have a suck on them. With the reply affirmative, I fastened my mouth around her nipple and sucked away (I was tempted to ask if she had a Farleys rusk in her handbag but refrained). It was a few moments before I realised,
I am in a bar in Bangkok sucking on a man’s nipple and do you know, I don’t care.
It was upon disengaging my mouth from her nipple that I recognised what my pals tell me about going with the flow in the LOS. The conversation continued but the spell was broken when she wopped out a penis that was considerably bigger than mine!
Later that evening when I returned to the Nana I employed a greater level of alertness in the selection of my bed partner for the evening than I had on previous evenings.
Anyway after a few days of accumulating a lifetime of memories I realised I am 48 not 18, the spirit is willing but the flesh is clearly inadequate!
I came to the conclusion I could not keep this up – I needed a holiday!
So remembering the offer of meeting some fellow football supporters, I caught a bus down to Pattaya and booked in a cheap but excellent hotel recommended by a pal.
Pattaya is an amazing resort, with a completely different ambience and tempo from Bangkok, and is probably similar to the place in the Bible where Lot’s wife was turned into a pillar of salt.
Getting around on the back of moped taxis or in Baht buses for pennies was interesting. Travelling on the back of a moped was one of the two things I experienced in Pattaya I had not had for twenty years.
On my first day I went around a few bars met a few people, got the inside track from many of them, drank with a few girls eventually getting to the club meeting at 12.00 midnight and watched the match in an British owned bar with about 20 fellow supporters (complete with our “away” shirts on).
The final whistle was after the official bar closing time so I experienced my first ”lock in “ in a bar outside of England. The match was poor but the company was excellent. I got pleasantly inebriated, the discussions became less and less decipherable as Black Country accents became more evident. I sampled the excellent street food, although they could not supply Bovril to complete the match day experience. I also had my first night in Thailand without a woman, which probably did me the world of good.
The next day I had a swim, and completely refreshed went around a few more bars gently drinking and playing “connect four” and a strange dice game with an assortment of girls in a variety of bars, ending up in an English bar/restaurant were I had a traditional roast beef Sunday dinner.
I was also introduced to Kamagra gel. The result is impressive but the blue tinge to the eyesight is disconcerting. The effect is not so severe as Viagra, which I am told, prevents you using public transport for three days. I wished I had discovered it a few days earlier in Bangkok but better late than never. I was reminded of the old tale of the aged English nobleman in his stately home who awakes to find he has an unexpected and impressive erection and immediately calls for his butler. The butler remarks “we haven’t seen one of those for some years sir, shall I call her ladyship?” to which the nobleman replies, “ No call a cab, we are taking this to London!”
I met some strange characters in Pattaya, including my share of whinging Englishmen with the sole purpose in life to “skin a fart for a baht”. They complained about the cost of everything, yet they would spend disproportionate and ridiculous amounts of money on girls who were transparently predatory. One old guy buying a brand – new moped for a girl he had not even had carnal knowledge of.
I witnessed a regular exchange between two old geezers, the one (late 60s) would be sitting with his girl (early 20s) and his pal would come up to him and offer him 10 baht saying “get a ice cream for your grand-daughter”. Amusing at first hearing but repeated what seemed to be every hour on the hour, the joke paled somewhat. Yet they would laugh uncontrollably every time. It is said dogs can bark incessantly without any discernable loss of pleasure, I understand what they mean.
Meeting westerners in Thailand at times was like being a passenger on the doomed ship in the Voyage of the Dammed where everyone had a tale of woe. But I also met some first rate and fascinating people who were always willing to share experiences or exchange an anecdote.
In a bar in Pattaya one evening, I found myself in the company of an Australian gentleman who had lived in Thailand for 20 years. He was an excellent companion who patiently imparted his experience to me. In this bar there were two girls who stood out from the other girls working there mainly because they were the only ones actually doing any work. They were a little older and had a bit more about them, the one was very pretty but it was the other that took my attention, not pretty in a conventional way but with an indefinable something that really attracted me.
My companion whilst explaining some of the idiosyncrasies of Thailand, remarked that the two girls were quite interested in me, I can tell, he continued because they are being silly and coquettish around you. Not fully understanding because although quite presentable, I am no great shakes in the looks department (and had been brainwashed by a lifetime’s experience with western women).
He explained, because you are polite and have been courteous and amusing to everyone you meet they are fascinated by you and have rarely moved from us all evening. I had not noticed because I must admit to being a consummate, if harmless flirt (as the ladies in my local library, supermarket and even lollipop ladies will testify). I expressed my interest in the one girl explaining there was an indefinable spark in her, I had not seen for some time. He suggested I do something about it. I did by buying her a drink and engaging her in conversation.
I later offed the girl and took her for a quiet drink and a little music elsewhere. Although her English was not too good she was clearly very intelligent and a rapport was quickly established. It was obvious to me there was a great sadness in her. It was also clear there was someone special beneath her serious demeanour. I think I was also predisposed for the rent a girlfriend experience.
Cutting a long story short, she moved in with me She was a little older (30ish) a little on the plump side (which suited me) but was as bright as a button and the next few days I spent with her were some of the happiest of my life.
I would imagine many Thailand veterans being amused at my naivety but this was a complete new experience for me. She was amazing and introduced me to a different world. She would wash and massage me every night, cut my toe and finger nails not to mention exhibiting a degree of enthusiasm in the sack I have not experienced for some considerable time.
She appeared to eat about 8 times a day or would experience real pain and anguish if she did not. Otherwise she would fall to sleep and she could sleep anywhere. We visited the elephant park, went shopping, explored the bars of Walking Street and sampled a variety of excellent foods. We talked together endlessly and as the days progressed her air of sadness seemed to dissolve away and began to reveal a delightful sense of humour and a smile that would light up the world. The interesting thing was she refused any money from me and apparently had paid her own bar fine for the 3 days we were together in Pattaya.
After a few days I had to return to Bangkok as I had arranged to meet some old friends later that week. This girl (who I will call N) wanted to come with me. I had no objection (I was somewhat smitten by her by now) so she arranged the time off from work for the next week (how she did this I never established) and I took her back with me to Bangkok.
My one pal back in Bangkok thought that this was “bringing coals to Newcastle”, but I am glad I did because we did the tourist thing, seeing the sights of Bangkok together exploring the Sky train and the local bus service. We did Wat Arun, the Royal barges, the temples, shopping in the world trade centre etc and I discovered you cannot beat having a native guide especially one who was as considerate and entertaining as N.
I booked into an apartment in a district near to the hospital and explored Soi Cowboy. Not so wild as Nana, Soi Cowboy must be the best street in the world. It is wide, clean and has a relaxed atmosphere and a real sense of fun. It has the most amazing value for money girlie bars and clubs, without the menace and surly attitudes you witness in red light districts in the western world. It’s appeal to the English is obvious, one bar in particular had a full screen TV so you could watch the girls dancing but still keep your eye on the football matches being played. N would sit in the bars with me and seemed to take great delight in choosing which girls could sit with me and who I should buy lady drinks for, which was an unusual and amusing experience.
N liked music and we did a deal were she would come in all the girlie bars with me (and occasionally a few of my pals) as long as we had the last hour in a music bar together. I thought this was fair enough and I could not imagine doing a similar deal with an English girl!
I gradually got the story of her life, which I gather is fairly typical. Her university education cut short by pregnancy, her family fund a small business for her and her husband, who drinks the proceeds away, he leaves her, child left with family, unsuccessful attempts at various careers (not aided by the economic crash a few years ago) and ending up in Pattaya at the invitation of a friend already working there, about 3 weeks before meeting me.
I had a strange experience one day outside the Pleonchit centre on Sukhumvit Road, when one of the litter police (falsely) accused me of dropping a cigarette end in the street. N took immediate control of the situation, told me to stay put and went away with the official apparently to the local police station. I had visions of “eating the brown rice” and did exactly as I was told. When N returned some 20 minutes later, she explained, “ he was only after money from you, but I have explained to his superior you are a ting- tong farang and everything is ok”. Whether any money exchanged hands I never established but N was quite nonchalant about the incident, which confirmed my initial opinion of her astuteness. Lesson learnt – you must go with the flow in the LOS but always keep your wits about you in what is a very alien culture.
I met up with an old friend who I have known through my professional and educational interests for over 20 years. He went through a nasty divorce about 8 years ago and the last time I saw him in England he looked an old and crushed man. He now works for the Thai government in a technical advisory capacity, teaching at a University and writing a few books. He has been out there about 6 years, married a Thai girl and has a young daughter with her. He has just turned 60 and looked 35 and a happier man you could not meet. We met up a couple of nights and talked endlessly as old friends do. I took N with me and whilst we talked continuously of the past and issues in our industry, rather than express boredom as an English girl would in no uncertain terms, she was happy (after she had stopped eating of course) to fall asleep on my lap. For a man of my age it is quite endearing to have a younger girl fall asleep on your lap.
It is said the perfect woman is only three foot tall with a flat head you can rest your beer glass on, I have since modified my opinion on this.
N did not cost me much money other than feeding and entertaining her (not that I would have begrudged spending money) and it felt at times that she spent as much money on me as I did on her buying me little gifts like T shirts and ties etc. I let her handle the money in restaurants, as my wife, a role she clearly relished. Never once did she ask me for money for herself and was genuinely offended if I ever raised the issue.
I am very aware (from subsequent horror stories I have read) that I was very fortunate to meet a girl as exceptional as N. My ex pat friends were pleased I had such an excellent holiday and were surprised I had dropped so lucky on my first visit to LOS. My cynical pals state I had caught N “farm fresh”, but I would like to think because I always treated her with courtesy and the greatest of respect (and made her laugh) helped a little. I think she also liked being introduced to my friends who are all professionals (a couple of them have the Dr designation). In the nicest possible way I think my little N was a latent snob and as class and status conscious as many of the Thais seem to be.
Suffice to say when she finally saw me off at the airport after seven days together there was lots of tears (which probably included the bar owners who would miss my custom).
All in all N was the perfect companion for me she definitely repaired the broken man and I returned to England refreshed, my spirit restored and I felt I had got my “soul “ back.
She returned to her hometown and her family just after Christmas. We have remained in contact by email every week, we exchange letters every month and sometimes phone texts at weekends (when she has any money). Her English is improving at an alarming rate and we have some affectionate, amusing and entertaining exchanges that confirm my initial observations about her intelligence. We have no great illusions about a future together and although neither of us would be averse to developing the relationship further, we appreciate the difficulties and enormous obstacles we would face. It is my sincere intention to return later in the year and hopefully see her again. But for the moment, we are enjoying the moment.
I could be accused of seeing things through rose coloured glasses. But Thailand was the perfect holiday for me in my situation. I am not a starry eyed young idealist, I am a middle aged, professionally educated, hard nosed pragmatist with 20 years experience of front line management in manufacturing, although I must admit to suspending my cynicism somewhat during my visit. I suppose I am the archetypal sex tourist but I make no apologies for this because I do not feel my visit caused any lasting harm to the country and it certainly did me considerable good. I had three holidays in one, the sex tourist experience in Bangkok (which I desperately needed), the holiday romance (which was unexpected), and the temple tourist bit (which gave me some photos to prove I had not spent the whole holiday on my face).
The euphoria I felt has not dissolved even after four months back at work. I am now a big fan of the Stickman site and I read the submissions about the bar closures, the absence of pretty girls and the impending demise of the good old days with the enthusiasm that only a new convert can have. I think Dana is the most genuinely observant and witty guy (if slightly unstable) I have read for years (particularly his experience with transvestites and the testicles in the stepladder story). Stickman’s exchanges with him are priceless. I also read Phil William’s site, and have planned my next excursion using Bangkok Bob’s guide to the nightlife. I keep in contact with friends in Thailand who update me on current affairs.
I understand what Christopher Moore refers to as the “sickness”.
I returned to England a new and revitalized man with a fresh enthusiasm for work and life that has astonished my friends and work colleagues. I also see English women from a different perspective and can see the nonsense we have to suffer from them for what it is.
Like the story of the “Emperors new clothes” discovering there is an alternative (albeit a long plane journey away) actually frees you from the tyranny of Western women. The fact that many educated normal English men prefer a sweet voiced peasant girl from Issan, to a strident sales executrice from Solihull is more a condemnation of the attitudes of western women than the fault of western men.
A final observation, the other evening I was in a pub in a busy Midland town centre and found myself in the company of two eye-catching young westernised Indian girls. The conversation was enjoyable for some time until one of the girls unexpectedly reverted to her westernised mindset and began the usual nonsense designed to pointlessly demean and ridicule a bloke. I took a metaphorical step back and looked at them. In the dim light, in their tight jeans and tacky tops with their dark faces and pulled back hair, they became bar girls from Issan. I was struck by the thought that a few months ago I would have only paid £15 for short time with someone similar. With a big smile, I said “Phaang keen pay” (too expensive) to their uncomprehending faces and walked away feeling quite invigorated. I acknowledge it was a futile gesture, like peeing yourself in a dark suit when you get a warm feeling and nobody notices, but satisfying nonetheless.
I wish I had discovered Thailand years ago but the dichotomy is I would probably not have appreciated it as a younger man, many of the strange things about the country would have been too alien for me to enjoy then. I am now old enough to appreciate what a fascinating place it is and still (just) young enough to enjoy it for a few years to come before it inevitably changes.
Oh, you have got a serious case of the Thailand Blues…and the only treatment is to board the big board and get back on over!